FAKENHAM FIRE UPDATE: Crews to remain at scene overnight

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Firefighters are still at the scene of today’s huge blaze in Fakenham and service chiefs expect them to remain there overnight.

Although the operation at the Original Factory Shop site in Upper Market has now been scaled down, four relief crews are set to stay in the area until tomorrow morning. A police cordon is still in place and is also expected to remain overnight.

At its height, 14 fire appliances were sent to tackle the blaze, which broke out just before 10.30am today, Sunday, May 25.

The shop building, which was previously home to the town’s branch of Aldiss for more than 100 years, has been gutted and its roof collapsed. However, emergency chiefs say the extent of damage to neighbouring premises is not known.

A number of nearby homes were evacuated as the fire took hold, though most residents are understood to have found overnight accommodation with friends or relatives.

Dozens of worshippers were also moved to safety from the St Peter and St Paul church, where the weekly Sunday service was just about to start when the alarm was raised.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is not expected to begin until tomorrow at the earliest.